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The effects of straw availability for nest-building on maternal reactivity of crated sows after farrowing

  • J. N. Marchant (a1), K.H. Jensen (a2) and R.M. Forde (a1)

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Most indoor sows in Denmark and the UK continue to farrow in crates. Before farrowing, sows are highly motivated to nest-build and gilts farrowing in crates without straw have an especially large stress response over the nest-building period (Jarvis et al., 1997). In non-crated sows, the inability to nest-build affects the subsequent maternal behaviour of the sow after farrowing (Herskin et al., 1999). This study aimed to determine whether supplying straw before farrowing increased the anti-crushing and anti-predator behaviour of the crated sow after farrowing and improved piglet survival.

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Herskin, M.S., Jensen, K.H., Thodberg, K. (1999). Influence of environmental stimuli on nursing and suckling behaviour in domestic sows and piglets. Animal Science, 68: 2734.
Jarvis, S., Lawrence, A.B., McLean, K.A., Deans, L.A., Chirnside, J. and Calvert, S.K. (1997) The effect of environment on behavioural activity, ACTH, b-endorphin and cortisol in pre-farrowing gilts. Animal Science, 65: 465472.

The effects of straw availability for nest-building on maternal reactivity of crated sows after farrowing

  • J. N. Marchant (a1), K.H. Jensen (a2) and R.M. Forde (a1)

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